While being honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for playing Freddie Mercury in the Bryan Singer-helmed Bohemian Rhapsody, actor Rami Malek further addressed sexual assault allegations against the director.
“My heart goes out to anyone who has to live through anything like what I’ve heard and what is out there,” Malek told the audience at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre. “It’s awful, it’s remarkable that this happens, I can appreciate so much what they’ve been through and how difficult this must be for them. In the light of the #MeToo era that this somehow seems to exist after that, it’s a horrible thing.”
He went on to say of his own experience with Singer, “In my situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that’s about what I can say about it at this point.”
Singer was fired from the film before shooting ended, but not because of the sexual assault allegations, which existed for years before The Atlantic published firsthand accounts from survivors. Instead, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Singer was fired for erratic behavior and failing to show up to work. He’ll still earn around $40 million from the film. He also remains employed as the director of the upcoming Red Sonja.
As far as the allegations against Singer, Malek has previously claimed that he “didn’t know much about Bryan.” However, news stories featuring accounts of parties Singer threw for underage boys and Hollywood execs have been easily searchable for years.
Bohemian Rhapsody is nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Lead Actor for Malek’s performance.